The Steering Group: Terms of Reference
The purpose of the Steering Group shall be to work in partnership with the Parish Council to carry out the following:
- Produce a Project Plan which identifies priorities and timescale for action.
- Identify and secure sources of funding.
- To take responsibility for planning, budgeting and monitoring expenditure on the plan and report back to the Parish Council.
- Liaise with relevant authorities and organisations to make the plan as effective as possible.
- Identify ways of involving the whole community to gather views and opinions of as many groups and organisations as possible.
- Determine how information can best be gathered.
- Be responsible for the analysis of surveys.
- Regularly report back to the Parish Council on progress, issues arising and outcomes from the exercise.
- Oversee the production of the Neighbourhood Plan.
- The Steering Group will be made up from a cross-section of people from the community, including parish councillors nominated by the Parish Council.
- The Steering Group will elect a chairperson, a project manager, a secretary and a finance officer.
- Other members of the Steering Group will be required to carry out tasks as needed.
- The Steering Group may co-opt additional members to ensure that skills exist to run a successful Neighbourhood Plan.
- Volunteers from the community will be recruited to help with the range of tasks needed for the Neighbourhood Plan.
- A person shall cease to be a member of the group having notified the chair or secretary in writing of his or her wish to resign.
- The Group Parish Council’s insurance will cover the previously agreed activities of the Steering Group and volunteers.
- Steering Group officers will ensure that the terms of the insurance are not breached.
- The Parish Council will provide the opportunity for the endorsement of regular reports from the Steering Group via its meeting agenda.
- It is expected that all Steering Group members will abide by the principles and practice of the Parish Council’s Code of Conduct, including declarations of interest.
- The Steering Group shall meet as required but at least monthly.
- At least 3 clear days’ notice of meetings shall be sent to members using appropriate communication methods.
- Notices of meetings should identify the matters to be discussed.
- The secretary shall keep a record of meetings and circulate notes to Steering Group members and to the Parish Council in a timely fashion.
- The secretary shall also publicise the notes via the Neighbourhood Plan website and parish council notice-boards.
- All meetings should be open to the public.
- Copies of the Parish Council’s Code of Conduct will be available at N.P.S.G. meetings.
- All grants and funding will be applied for and held by the Parish Council who will ring-fence the funds for Neighbourhood Plan purposes only.
- Notification of all planned expenditure will be given to the Parish Council before actual costs are incurred.
- The finance officer will keep a clear record of expenditure supported by receipted invoices and will regularly review and update the budget.
- The finance officer will draw up and agree with the Steering Group procedures for volunteers who wish to claim expenses and the rates that they may claim.
- The finance officer will report back to the Steering Group and the Parish Council on planned and actual expenditure for the project.
- The finance officer will set up a system for reimbursement of expenses and a procedure for payment of invoices.
- Invoices will be made out in the name of the Parish Council who will pay them at their next parish council meeting.
Changes to the Terms of Reference
- These Terms of Reference may be altered and additional clauses may be added with the consent of two-thirds of the Steering Group present.
Dissolution of the Steering Group
- At the conclusion of the Neighbourhood Plan project the Parish Council and the Steering Group should discuss the future working of the Steering Group. If the Steering Group wishes to dissolve it must notify the Parish Council. If the Parish Council wishes to dissolve the Steering Group it will need to consider the return of any unused funding, if this was a condition of any grant.
- A final report will be written as part of the final grant payment.